HC Deb 28 June 1844 vol 76 cc116-9

On the Motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, House in Committee on the Bank Charter Currency Bill.

On Clause eleven,

Colonel Sibthorp

considered it of the utmost importance that the accommodation which had been usually extended in agricultural districts, should be continued under this Bill; and he doubted whether, by taking the average circulation for the last three months as the basis, that effect would be produced in many cases.

Sir Robert Peel

said it was perhaps impossible, in taking an average, to take in every case. In the first instance the average of the last two years had been taken as the maximum of issues; but under that provision it was found that many cases of hardship would arise which it would be necessary to provide against by special clauses. The point was consequently reconsidered; and as it was found that by taking the average on the circulation of the twelve weeks previous to the announcement of the Bill, would give an increased circulation, and conform to the wishes of the joint-stock and country banks, and more especially that it involved less risk of disturbing existing interests, it was thought desirable to institute the twelve weeks for the two years. It was found that the further they went back for the averages, the greater would be the number of special clauses required to prevent cases of hardship.

Mr. P. M. Stewart

proposed the omission of the last paragraph of the Clause before the Committee, which contained certain restrictions as to issues by joint-stock banks, and as to the lawful number of partners. His proposition went to give security to those sources of issue recognized as lawful in the Bill before the Committee.

Sir Robert Peel

objected to the Amendment, as giving facilities to joint-stock banks to multiply their branches, and swallow up private country banking establishments. He did not wish to meddle with the privileges already enjoyed by joint-stock banks, but he did not wish to allow them to hawk about those privileges for sale in the public market. He, therefore, declined, adopting the suggestion, and hoped that the country bankers would approve of his conduct in doing so.

Mr. M. Phillips

did not think that joint-stock banks failed in giving security to depositors, and the failures which had taken place among them might frequently be traced to the directors not having early been accustomed to banking business. The tendency of the measure was to teach the mercantile community to look to "coming events," and direct their attention to the fluctuations of foreign exchanges. As such it would be beneficial.

Mr. P. M. Stewart

said, that those hon. Gentlemen who had made a fortune and retired from business, supported the Government measure cordially, as its tendency was to make money valuable, while those who were still struggling on in commerce, opposed it on account of its restrictive tendencies. He would not press his Amendment either upon that Clause, or that of which he had given notice on the next Clause.

Amendment withdrawn. Clause agreed to.

Bill went through Committee. House resumed. Bill reported.

House adjourned at a quarter to ten o'clock.